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16 April 1862 1.

12 Stat. 379.

Branch offices may be establislied in cities.

12 Stat. 702.

Postmasters' accounts.

Extra compensa. tion.


56. That the postmaster-general be authorized and directed, when in his judgment the public interest or convenience may require it, to establish one or more branch post offices, to facilitate the operation of the post office, in any city or place which, in the opinion of the postmaster-general, may require such additional accommodations for the convenience of the inhabitants; and it shall be the duty of the postmaster-general to prescribe the rules and regulations for the branch post offices which may be established by virtue of this act. (And the postmaster-general is hereby authorized to charge one cent, in addition to the regular postage, for every letter deposited in any branch post office, to be forwarded by mail from the principal office, and which shall be prepaid by stamp, and one cent for every letter delivered at such branch office, to be paid on delivery :) Provided, That no letter shall be sent from the principal office to such branch office for delivery, contrary to the request of the party to whom the same may be addressed: And provided, The expense of such branch service shall not exceed the

receipts on account thereof. Ibid & 2.

57. That the tenth section of an act entitled “An act to establish certain post routes,

and for other purposes," approved March 3d 1847,(a) be and hereby is repealed. 3 March 1863 & 4. 58. Every postmaster shall keep a record in his office of all postage stamps and

envelopes, and of all postal books, blanks or property received from his predecessor in office, or from the post office department, or from any of its agents, and also of all payments in money for postages, and all payments for box-rents, and of all other receipts on account of any part of the postal service, and of any other transactions which shall be required by the postmaster-general; and these records shall be preserved and delivered over to his successor in office, and shall be at all times subject to examination

of any special agent of the department. Ibid. 25. 59. Whenever by reason of the presence of a military or naval force near any post

office, unusual business accrues thereat, the postmaster-general is hereby required to make a special order allowing proportionately reasonable compensation to the post

master, and for clerical service, during the period of such extraordinary business. Ibid. & 6. 60. It shall be the duty of postmasters to render a quarter-yearly account to the postQuarterly re

master-general, under oath, in such form as the latter shall prescribe, of all emoluments or sums by them respectively received for boxes or pigeon-holes, or other receptacles for letters or papers, and by them charged for to individuals ; or for the delivery of letters or papers at or from any place whatever; and of all emoluments, receipts and profits that have come to their hands by reason of keeping branch post offices; and no postmaster shall hereafter, under any pretence whaterer, have or receive, or retain for himself, in the aggregate, more than the amount of his salary. And the postmaster-general is further authorized to require, by a form to be prepared by him, a sworn statement to accompany or following the quarterly account of any or all postmasters, to the effect that such postmaster has in such account truly stated the entire amount of postages, box-rents and all other charges and emoluments collected or received by him at his office during such quarter ; and that he has not knowingly delivered, or permitted to be delivered to any person any mail matter on which the postage had not been paid at the time of delivery; and that such quarterly account exhibits truly and faithfully the entire receipts of his office which have been collected thereat, and the entire sum which could have been by due diligence collected thereat, as he verily believes; and that the credits he claims are just and true, as he verily believes; and any false swearing therein

shall render him liable to the pains and penalties of perjury. 1 July 1864 1. 61. The annual compensation of postmasters shall be at a fixed salary, in lieu of com13 Stat. 335.

missions, to be divided into five classes, exclusive of the postmaster of the city of New Salaries of post- York. Postmasters of the first class shall receive not more than four thousand dollars,

nor less than three thousand dollars ; postmasters of the second class shall receive less than three thousand dollars and not less than two thousand dollars; postmasters of the third class shall receive less than two thousand dollars and not less than one thousand dollars; postmasters of the fourth class shall receive less than one thousand dollars and not less than one hundred dollars ; postmasters of the fifth class shall receive less than one hundred dollars. The compensation of the postmaster of New York shall be six thousand dollars per annum, to take effect on the first day of July 1864; and the com

pensation of postmasters of the several classes aforesaid shall be established by the How computed. postmaster-general under the rules hereinafter provided. Whenever the compensation

of postmasters of the several offices (except the office of New York), for the two consecutive years next preceding the first day of July 1864, shall have amounted to an average annual sum not less than three thousand dollars, such offices shall be assigned to the first class; whenever it shall have amounted to less than three thousand dollars, but

Form of statement.

masters. Classification.

(a) 1 vol. 780, pl. 144,


not less than two thousand dollars, such offices shall be assigned to the second class; 1 July 1864. whenever it shall have amounted to less than two thousand dollars, but not less than one thousand dollars, such offices shall be assigned to the third class; whenever it shall have amounted to less than one thousand dollars, but not less than one hundred dollars, such offices shall be assigned to the fourth class ; and whenever it shall have amounted to less than one hundred dollars, such offices shall be assigned to the fifth class. To offices of the first, second and third classes shall be severally assigned salaries, in even hundreds of dollars, as nearly as practicable in amount the same as, but not exceeding, the average compensation of the postmasters thereof for the two years next preceding; and to offices of the fourth class shall be assigned severally salaries, in even tens of dollars, as nearly as practicable in amount the same as, but not exceeding, such average compensation for the two years next preceding; and to offices of the fifth class shall be severally assigned salaries, in even dollars, as nearly as practicable in amount the same as, but not exceeding, such average compensation for the two years next preceding. Wherever returns showing the average of annual compensation of postmasters for the two years next preceding the first day of July 1864, shall not have been received at the post office department at the time of adjustment, the same may be estimated by the postmaster-general for the purpose of adjusting the salaries of postmasters herein provided for. And it shall be the duty of the auditor of the treasury for the post office department, to obtain from postmasters their quarterly accounts with the vouchers necessary to a correct adjustment thereof, and to report to the postmaster-general all failures of postmasters to render such returns within a proper period after the close of each quarter. 62. The postmaster-general shall review, once in two years, and in special cases, upon

Ibid. & 2. satisfactory representation, as much oftener as he may deem expedient, and readjust

, Adjustment of on the basis of the preceding section, the salary assigned by him to any office; but any change made in such salary shall not take effect until the first day of the quarter next following such order, and all orders made assigning or changing salaries shall be made in writing and recorded in his journal, and notified to the auditor for the post office department. “Provided, That when the quarterly returns of any postmaster of the third, fourth or fifth class show that the salary allowed is ten per centum less than it would be on the basis of commissions under the act of 1854, fixing compensation, then the postmaster-general shall review and readjust under the provisions of said section."(a) 63. Salaries of the first, second and third classes shall be adjusted to take effect on

Ibid. 2 3. the first day of July 1864, and of the fourth and fifth classes, at the same time, or at the When salaries to cominencement of a quarter as early as practicable thereafter.

64. At offices which have not been established for two years prior to the first day of Ibid. & 4. July 1864, the salary may be adjusted upon a satisfactory return by the postmaster of Salaries at new the receipts, expenditures and business of his office: Provided, That fifty per centum offices. of the gross revenue of such office shall be, in all cases, the largest amount allowed to such postmasters for their salaries, respectively, except in cases where it shall be a separating or distributing office, as provided for in the sixth section of this act.

65. At-the post office of New York and offices of the first and second classes, the post- Ibid. & 5. master-general shall allow to the postmaster a just and reasonable sum for the necessary Allowance for cost, in whole or in part, of rent, fuel, lights and clerks, to be adjusted upon a satis- Office-rent, &c. factory exhibit of the facts. And at offices of the third, fourth and fifth classes, such expenses shall be paid by the postmaster, except as in the sixth section provided; it being intended that such allowances shall be made in accordance with existing usages.

66. The postmaster-general may designate certain convenient offices, at the intersec- Ibid. & 6. tion of mail routes, as distributing offices, and certain others as separating offices; and Distributing and where any such office is of the third, fourth or fifth class of post offices, he may make a separating offices. reasonable allowance to such postmaster for the necessary cost, in whole or in part, of clerical services arising from such duties.

67. All postages and box-rents at post offices, and all other receipts and emoluments Ibid. 27. at a post oflice, shall be received and accounted for as a part of the postal revenues ; Postages and box. and any part thereof which the postmaster ought to have collected, but has neglected rents to be part to collect, shall be charged against him in his account, and he shall be liable therefor revenues. in the same manner as if the same had been collected; and he shall receive no fees or perquisites beyond his salary.

68. If any person, not authorized by the postmaster-general, shall set up or profess to Ibid. & 11. keep any office, or any place of business bearing the sign, name or title of post office, Penalty for setevery such person shall forfeit and pay the sum of five hundred dollars for every such ting punanoffence.


(a) So amendod by act 12 June 1866, 28. 11 Stat. 60.



ances for station

ery, &c.

12 Stat. 708.

3 March 1865 3. 69. That in addition to the items of rent, fuel, light and clerks enumerated in the fifth 13 Stat. 505.

section of the act approved July 1st 1864, the postmaster-general be and he is hereby Additional allow- authorized to allow, at his discretion, out of the revenues of the office at New York, and

of offices of the first, second, third and fourth classes, a just and reasonable sum for the necessary cost, in whole or in part, as well of the foregoing items, as of furniture, stationery, printing and other items of expenditure required at offices of those classes, to be adjusted upon a satisfactory exhibit of the facts; and that he be authorized to pay, out of the proceeds of the money-order business, the cost of stationery and such other incidental expenses as are necessary for the transaction of that business.

IX. FRANKING PRIVILEGE. 3 Mar. 1863 & 42. 70. Authority to frank mail matter is conferred upon and limited to the following

persons :
Who to enjoy the I. The president of the United States, by himself or his private secretary.
franking privi-

II. The vice-president of the United States.
III. The chiefs of the several executive departments.

IV. Such principal officers, being heads of bureaus or chief clerks of each executive department, to be used only for official communications, as the postmaster-general shall by regulation prescribe.

V. Senators and representatives in the congress of the United States, including dele gates from territories, the secretary of the senate and clerk of the house of representa tives; to cover correspondence to and from them, and all printed matter issued by authority of congress, and all speeches, proceedings and debates in congress, and all printed matter sent to them ; their franking privileges to commence with the term for which they are elected, and to expire on the first Monday of December following such term of office.

VI. All official communications addressed to either of the executive departments of government by an officer responsible to that department. (a)

VII. Postmasters have also the franking privileye for their official communications to other postmasters : Provided, That in all such cases the envelope shall be marked “official," with the signature of the writer thereto, and for any and every such endorsement of “official” falsely made, the person making the same shall forfeit and pay three hundred dollars.

VIII. Petitions to either branch of congress shall pass free in the mails.

IX. All communications addressed to any of the franking officers above described, and not excepted in the foregoing clausos, must be prepaid by postage stamps.

The franking privilege herein before granted shall be limited to packages weighing not exceeding four ounces, except petitions to congress and congressional or executive documents, and such publications or books as have or may be published, procured or purchased by order of either house of congress, or a joint resolution of the two houses, which shall be considered as public documents, and entitled to be franked as such ; and except also seeds, cuttings, roots and scions, the weight of the packages of which may

be fixed by regulation of the postmaster-general. 16 Mar 1864 & 1. 71. The franking privilege of the president and the vice-president of the United

States shall extend to and cover all mail matter sent from or directed to either of them. 1 July 1864 31. 72. All communications relating to the official business of the department to which

they are addressed, of whatever origin, addressed to the chiefs of the several executive Official communi- departments of the government, or to such principal officers of each executive depart

ment, being heads of bureaus or chief clerks, or one duly authorized by the postmastergeneral to frank official matter, shall be received and conveyed by mail free of postage,

without being endorsed “official business," or with the name of the writer. 13 July 1866 8 65. 73. All official communications made by assessors to collectors, assessors to assessors,

or by collectors to collectors, or by collectors to assessors, or by assessors to assistant

assessors, or by assistant assessors to assessors, or by collectors to their deputies, or by official communi deputy-collectors to collectors, may he officially franked by the writers thereof, and

shall, when so franked, be transmitted by mail free of postage. 1 March 1869 1. 74. It shall not be lawful for any officer of the government, member of congress, or

other person entitled by law to the franking privilege to exercise said privilege other. How franking

wise than by his or her written autograph signature upon the matter franked ; and all privilege to be exercised.

letters or other mail matter not thus franked by the written signature of a person entitled by law to exercise said privilege, shall be charged with the rates of postage

which are now, or may be hereafter, established by law. (a) Letters from officers of national banking associations, em- that employment, are not transmissible through the mail, free ployed as depositories of public moneys, on business arising from of postage, to the treasury department. 11 Opin. 23.


13 Stat. 30.

13 Stat. 95.


14 Stat. 170.

Certain revenue officers may frank


15 Stat. 280.

12 Stat. 270.

diers' letters need

12 Stat, 272.

be forwarded to soldiers.

12 Stat. 702.

age and box-rent.

may be carried in the mails.

X. RATES AND PAYMENT OF POSTAGE. 75. All letters written by soldiers in the service of the United States, may be trans- 22 July 1877 2 11. mitted through the mails, without prepayment of postage, under such regulations as the post office department may prescribe; the postage thereon to be paid by the reci. Postage on sol. pients.

not be prepaid. 76. All prepaid letters to soldiers in any regiment in the service of the United States, 24 July 1841 ? 1. and directed to them at a point where they have been stationed, may be forwarded, whenever practicable, to any other point to which they may have been ordered, without Prepaid letters to further charge thereon. 77. The provisions of the act of July 22d 1861, (a) authorizing soldiers to send letters 21 Jan. 1962 a 1.

12 Stut. 3:23 through the mails of the United States, without prepayment of postage, is hereby extended to the sailors and marines in the actual service of the United States, under such regu- fecited 16 Sailors lations as the post office department shall provide ; the postage thereon to be paid by and mariues. the recipients.

78. No mail matter shall be delivered by the postmaster until the postage due 3 March 1863 ? 3. thereon shall have been paid ; and no box at any post office shall be assigned to the use of any person until the rent therefor has been paid for at least one quarter, for which Payment of postthe postmaster shall give a receipt, and keep a record thereof in his office, which record sball be delivered to his successor. 79. No postmaster shall receive, to be conveyed by the mail, any packet or package

Ibid. & 16. which shall weigh more than four pounds, except books published or circulated by Amount that order of congress.

80. Upon the following mailable matter the postage must be prepaid at the time of Ibid. $ 17. mailing, by stamps, unless otherwise expressly provided in this act:

Upon what postI. Upon all domestic letters, whether passing through the mails, or collected, or age to be prepaid. delivered by postal agents or carriers.

II. On all transient printed matter.

III. On all seeds, cuttings, bulbs, roots and scions; all pamphlets, books, book manuBcripts and proof-sheets, maps, prints, engravings, blanks, flexible patterns, samples and sample cards, phonographic paper, letter envelopes, postal envelopes, paper and photographic representations of different types.

IV. Upon all other things in the mail not otherwise herein provided for.
81. Upon the following mailable matter the postage shall be paid before delivery, for

Ibid. & 18. not less than one quarter nor more than one year; and such payment for a term may Prepayment of be made either at the mailing office or at the office of delivery :-(if the term commences

postage op periat any other time than at the beginning of a quarter, such payment must be made to cover such fractional quarter, and also for the next following quarter, otherwise the postage shall be collected thereon as on transient matter :)-upon regular weekly, triweekly, semi-weekly and daily publications, and all other regular publications, issued from a known office of publication, at stated periods, and sent to regular subscribers.

82. Mailable matter shall be divided into three classes, namely: first, letters ; second, Ibid. & 19. regular printed matter; third, miscellaneous matter.

83. The first class embraces all correspondence, wholly or partly in writing, except that mentioned in the third class. The second class embraces all mailable matter exclu

Ibid. 2 20. sively in print, and regularly issued at stated periods, without addition by writing, mark First class. or sign. The third class embraces all other matter which is or may hereafter be by law Second class. declared mailable ; embracing all pamphlets, occasional publications, books, book manuscripts and proof-sheets, whether corrected or not, maps, prints, engravings, blanks, flexible patterns, samples and sample cards, phonographic paper, letter envelopes, postal envelopes or wrappers, cards, paper, plain or ornamental, photographic representations of different types, seeds, cuttings, bulbs, roots and scions.

84. The maximum standard weight for the single rate of letter postage is one-half Ibid. & 21. ounce avoirdupois.

Single postage 85. The rate of postage on all domestic letters transmitted in the mails of the United weight.

Ivid. 2 -22. States, and not exceeding one-half ounce in weight, shall be uniform at three cents ; and for each half ounce or fraction thereof of additional weight, there shall be charged Rate of postago an additional rate of three cents, to be in all cases prepaid by postage stamps plainly affixed to such letter.

86. The rate of postage on all letters not transmitted through the mails of the United Ibid. 2 23. States, but delivered through the post office or its carriers, commonly described as local Drop letters. or drop letters, and not exceeding one-half ounce in weight, shall be uniform at two cents, and an additional rate for each half ounce or fraction thereof of additional weight, to be in all cases prepaid by postage stamps affixed to the envelope of such letter ; but

(a) Supra 75.


Classification of mailalle matter.

Third claxe.

on mail letters.

3 March 1863.

What to be


no extra postage or carrier's fee shall hereafter be charged or collected upon letters

delivered by carriers, nor upon letters collected by them for mailing or for delivery. Ibid. & 24. 87. The domestic letter rate of postage is established for all mailable matter which

is wholly or partly in writing, or is so marked as to convey any other or further intellicharged with letter postage.

gence or information than is conveyed by the original print, in case of printed matter, or which is sent in violation of law or regulations of the department touching the enclo

sure of matter which may be sent at less than letter rates, and for all matter introduced Januscripts and into the mails for which no different rate is provided by law: Provided, That book proofs.

manuscripts and corrected proofs passing between authors and publishers may pass at Address and sub- the rate of printed matter : And provided further, That publishers of newspapers and scription bills.

periodicals may print or write upon their publications, sent to regular subscribers, the address of subscribers and the date when the subscription expires, and may enclose

therewith receipts for payment and bills for subscription thereto. Ibid. & 25. 88. On all matter not enumerated as mailable matter, and to which no specific rates Non-enumerated of postage are assigned, and which shall nevertheless be mailed, the rate, if the same

shall be forwarded, is established at the rate of letter postage. Ibid. 2 26. 89. If any matter on which by law the postage is required to be prepaid at the mailDouble postage. ing office, shall reach its destination without such prepayment, double the prepaid rates

shall be charged and collected on delivery. Ibid. & 27. 90. The postmaster-general is authorized to provide by uniform regulation for transTransmission of mitting unpaid and duly certified letters of soldiers, sailors and marines in the service Boldiers' letters. of the United States to destination ; and all other letters which from accident or neglect paid by accident. appear to have been deposited for mailing without prepayment of postage, where, in

the latter class, the writer is not known or cannot be promptly advised of his default; but in all cases of letters not prepaid, except certified soldiers' and naval letters, the

same shall be charged with double rates of postage, to be collected on delivery. Ibid. 2 28. 91. When any writer of a letter on which the postage is prepaid, shall endorse in Return of letters, writing or in print upon the outside thereof, his name and address, with a request that

the same be returned to him if not called for or delivered within any number of days (not to exceed thirty days), any such letter shall not be advertised nor treated as a dead letter at the office addressed, but shall be returned as requested (charged with the proper postage at the prepaid rate, to be collected on the return delivery ;] and if not then delivered, shall be treated as a dead letter. “And when any letter bearing a request for its return to the writer, in case of its non-delivery, shall have been so returned to the office at which it was originally mailed, then and in that case it shall be obligatory upon the person to whom such letter has been returned to receive the same (and to pay therefor the postage specified by this section ;) and in default of said writer to receive and pay for the letter so returned, he shall be subject to a penalty of

ten dollars, to be recovered in any court of competent jurisdiction."(a) Ibid. & 29. 92. The postage on returned dead letters, not registered as valuable, shall be three Rate on returned

cents for the single rate; on returned dead letters, registered as valuable, double rates

shall be charged. Ibid. & 30. 93. All letters directed to any person not found at the office addressed, may be forForwarding of

warded to any other office where he may be found, with additional charge of postage

therefor. Ibid. & 31.

94. The postmaster-general shall have authority to pay, or cause to be paid, a sum Ship letters, &c. not exceeding two cents each, for all letters conveyed in any vessel or steamboat not

employed in carrying the mail, from one port or place to any other port or place in the United States, or from any foreign port to any port within the United States, subject to such regulations as the postmaster-general may prescribe ; but all such letters shall be deposited in the post office at the port of arrival, for mailing or delivery; and if for delivery within the United States, shall be rated with double rates of postage, which shall cover the fee paid to the vessel ; no fees shall be allowed for letters collected by a

carrier on a mail route. Ibid. & 32. 95. For the greater security of valuable letters posted for transmission in the mails Registration of

of the United States, the postmaster-general is authorized to establish a uniform plan for the registration of such letters, on application of parties posting the same, and to require the payment of the postage, as well as a registration fee not exceeding twenty cents on every such letter or packet, to be accounted for by postmasters receiving the same, in such inanner as the postmaster-general shall direct: Provided, however, That such registration shall not be compulsory, and it shall not render the post office department or its revenue liable for the loss of such letters or packets, or the contents thereof;

dead letters.


and provision shall be made by regulation for a return receipt to the writer, showing (a) So amended by act 1 July 1864, & 10, 13 Stat. 337. By act without additional postage chargo. 14 Stat. 60. And see infra 12 Juno 1866, 2, such letters are to be returned to the writers 123, 134.


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